|Genre||Alternative rock, alternative metal|
|Dates||January - April|
|Years active||1996 to 2015|
The SnoCore Tour, occasionally typeset as Sno-Core, is an annual festival tour of the United States. It features performances by some of the most popular groups largely of the alternative rock and metal spectrum. Other than 2008 and 2016, the event has taken place every year since its 1996 inception. SnoCore is marketed towards the winter sports culture.
John Boyle, Eric Lochtefeld and Rick Bonde established SnoCore as an entertainment opportunity for fans during the year's slow point in live music, the winter season. It would also serve as an excuse for bands to perform for Western mountain resort towns and go snowboarding. SnoCore originally focused predominately on punk and ska groups and routed through ski communities. But as it became a national tour, SnoCore aimed toward hard rock and heavy metal and engaged larger, more traditional concert venues. In late 1997, ARTISTdirect principals Marc Geiger and Don Muller, the former having also co-founded Lollapalooza, purchased the tour from Boyle. They still make a point to schedule dates in a number of resort towns despite having strayed somewhat from its original concept.
Corresponding with its name, SnoCore features large video screens playing footage of freestyle snowboarding and skiing between performances. Local shops have set up at concerts and local resorts have tied in with them. However, SnoCore does not feature sideshows as showcased at the Warped Tour and remains strictly a musical festival. The tour commonly hosts a sponsor; examples include Airwalk in 1997, Levi's in 1999, and Winterfresh in 2005.
On March 10, 1998, Foil Records released the Sno-Core Compilation which features various bands that have partaken in the festival. In 2001, SnoCore split into two tours: the funk/jam based SnoCore Icicle Ball and the hard rock/heavy metal based SnoCore Rock. This carried on once more the following year.
During the 2006 tour, stomach flu ran its course through all participating bands. Most severely affected was Seether frontman Shaun Morgan who, rather than cancel altogether, opted to perform acoustic sets for their last few shows. This alternative met with high approval from fans and influenced the group to release their first acoustic album, One Cold Night.
Saliva was scheduled to co-headline the 2009 tour but frontman Josey Scott needed more time to recover from a recent ulcer surgery. As a result, the band intended to cancel the first two weeks and substitute Scott with Walt Lafty of Silvertide beginning April 17. Ultimately, they decided in the interest of the fans to drop out entirely. This made the 2009 band lineup the leanest in SnoCore history.